The World of Raymond Chandler: in His Own Words, edited by Barry Day: A Review

Raymond Chandler was one of the greatest classic noir writers. He wrote The Big Sleep, Farewell, My Lovely, The Lady in the Lake, and The Long Goodbye, amongst others. Even if you’ve never read any of his work, you likely recognize at least some of those titles, since each one of them has been made … Continue reading The World of Raymond Chandler: in His Own Words, edited by Barry Day: A Review

On South Carolina, Forgiveness, and Dostoevsky

There's a heartfelt essay in today's New York Times entitled "Why I Can't Forgive Dylann Roof" by Roxane Gay. This follows from the very emotional scenes when the family members of the murdered South Carolina church-goers confronted the monster who killed their brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, and by-and-large forgave him for his unforgivable deeds. Gay … Continue reading On South Carolina, Forgiveness, and Dostoevsky

Narratives and Our Ways of Knowing Part II: The Middle Ages

I posted this several months ago. It’s the second in a series that I still mean to complete. So stay tuned.

Mark T. Conard

The question of knowledge is a very old problem, going back to the ancients. What we can know about the world, and how we know it, is a huge puzzle. Now, we all love to tell stories, to tell people about things that have happened to us—or even stuff that happened to others, if it makes for a good tale. More than that, story-telling seems to be hardwired in us. We have a deep need to construct narratives to make sense out of the world and our lives. So not only do we try to convey what we think we know through our stories, but those stories also reflect the issues and problems regarding our ways of knowing.

I’m going to write a series of posts concerning the history of story-telling and our problems concerning the ways of knowing. I’ll move from Plato to Medieval Christianity, then to Descartes and…

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Narratives and Our Ways of Knowing Part I: Plato’s Dialogues

I posted this several months ago. It’s the first in a series that I still mean to complete. So stay tuned.

Mark T. Conard

Narratives and Our Ways of Knowing Part I: Plato’s Dialogues

The question of knowledge is a very old problem, going back to the ancients. What we can know about the world, and how we know it, is a huge puzzle. Now, we all love to tell stories, to tell people about things that have happened to us—or even stuff that happened to others, if it makes for a good tale. More than that, story-telling seems to be hardwired in us. We have a deep need to construct narratives to make sense out of the world and our lives. So not only do we try to convey what we think we know through our stories, but those stories also reflect the issues and problems regarding our ways of knowing.

I’m going to write a series of posts concerning the history of story-telling and our problems concerning the ways of knowing. I’ll…

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A Frank Koenig Story: “The Stolen Car”

A Frank Koenig short from a few months ago. Hope you enjoy it.

Mark T. Conard

Frank’s partner, Carl Gibson, had a large waistband and chubby cheeks, with his hair cut into a dirty blond flattop. He wore a cheap Sears and Roebuck suit with a white shirt and a chocolate striped tie. He always smelled of Aqua Velva.

Carl sat behind the wheel of his new De Soto, a pale green De Luxe Business Coupe, and Frank occupied the passenger’s seat, staring out the window.

He and Frank hadn’t been partners long. They worked out of the Major Case Squad and had caught a call that morning.

“Did you check out the name of the lady filing the complaint?” said Carl as he drove.

Frank shook his head.

“Didn’t you wonder why we’re handling a stolen car? Does that sound like a major case to you? Sure doesn’t to me. Should be uniforms handling it, but they’re not. They kicked it up to us.”

Frank…

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A Frank Koenig Story: “The Meridian Lounge”

Here’s a post from a few months ago. Enjoy!

Mark T. Conard

The Meridian Lounge

The Meridian Lounge on West 125th Street in Harlem featured local and up-and-coming jazz acts. The venue, smoke-filled and done in brass, contained a dozen tables, and the varnish had worn off the floorboards where the waitresses trekked from the bar to the patrons in the tight space. Alma Boudreau stood on the bandstand behind the microphone, cooing “Love For Sale,” the Cole Porter tune, accompanied by piano, bass, and a drummer using brushes. She wore a tight-fitting white sleeveless dress that plunged at the neckline and hugged her generous hips, and her honeyed voice would make songbirds jealous.

Frank Koenig, NYPD detective, had the only white face in the joint. The manager ran an establishment for coloreds, but made an exception for Frank, since he took a particular interest in black neighborhood crime when other cops wouldn’t. Nobody in the city knew why. It was Frank’s…

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